Manchester United defender Michael Keane has been speaking about his hopes of impressing new manager Louis van Gaal.
United begin their pre-season preparations on Friday, with Ryan Giggs taking charge of the side until van Gaal finishes his World Cup duties with the Dutch national team. And with a tour of the USA on the horizon, Keane has the chance to impress a manager renowned for giving youth a chance.
Speaking to the FA’s official website, Keane said, “I’ve heard the new manager likes to bring young players through and that’s always been the way at United.
“Obviously with Giggsy staying on as his assistant that can only benefit the young players and hopefully we can get a good pre-season and a chance to prove ourselves.”
Given that a number of United’s first-team stars will receive extended late breaks following their exploits in Brazil, the likes of Keane have the chance to stake a claim for a first-team shot when van Gaal finally comes to naming his first competitive squad.
With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic now departed, Keane may think there has never been a better time to be a young United defender. And it is up to him to show van Gaal need not be too busy in the transfer market to bring in fresh faces at the back.
With just three United appearances to date, the 21-year-old has a long way to go to join the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as regular first-team members. But his showings on loan for both Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers speak of a player who has what it takes.
He now has six weeks to prove that, before United’s new campaign begins.